Music Theory - Grades 1 to 8

Save 30% with this discounted bundle! The complete course for Grades 1 to 8 music theory.

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Become fluent in the fundamentals of music theory.

It's our belief that every musician needs to have the theory knowledge that supports their playing, singing, or composing skills. This course features clear explanations of music notation, many worked examples and practice exercises, definitions of important words and concepts, specimen questions and many helpful tips for students. As well as being suitable for candidates preparing for ABRSM music theory exams, this course also provides an excellent resource for anyone wishing to develop general music literacy skills.

Courses Included with Purchase


Grade 1 Music Theory

Starting with the very basics of music theory, this course sets out much of the groundwork of essential theory knowledge with great clarity. It includes videos and practice exercises covering all of the topics on the list.

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  • Rhythm and time values
  • Bar-lines and time signatures
  • Notes on the stave
  • The treble and bass clefs
  • Rests
  • Ties and dots
  • Accidentals
  • Semitones and tones
  • Major keys and scales (C, G, D and F)
  • Degrees of the scale and intervals
  • Tonic triads
  • Composing an answering rhythm
  • Perfomance directions

Grade 2 Music Theory

Building on the topics previously covered, this course introduces new areas of study. It includes videos and practice exercises covering all of the topics on the list.

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  • Ledger lines
  • Time signatures (2/2, 3/2, 4/2, 3/8)
  • Major keys and scales (A, B♭ and E♭)
  • Triplets
  • Minor keys and scales (A, E and D)
  • Grouping of notes and rests
  • Intervals
  • Composing simple four-bar rhythms
  • Perfomance directions

Grade 3 Music Theory

Progressing introducing a number of key topics and reinforcing previous material covered. It includes videos and practice exercises covering all of the topics on the list.

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  • Demisemiquavers
  • Major keys and scales with four sharps or flats
  • Beyond two ledger lines
  • Transposition
  • Compound time
  • Minor keys and scales with four sharps or flats
  • Grouping notes and rests
  • Four-bar rhythms
  • Intervals
  • Simple phrase structure
  • Perfomance directions

Grade 4 Music Theory

Moving through and looking at many of the nuances of theory with simple explanations of new a variety of key subjects. It includes videos and practice exercises covering all of the topics on the list.

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  • Time signatures
  • Alto clef
  • Double sharps and double flats
  • Breves, double dots and duplets
  • Major keys and scales with five sharps or flats
  • Minor keys and scales with five sharps or flats
  • Technical names of notes in diatonic scales
  • Four-bar rhythms
  • Triads and chords on I, IV and V
  • Intervals
  • Writing a rhythm to words
  • The chromatic scale
  • Ornaments
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Performance directions

Grade 5 Music Theory

Rounding off the fundamentals and moving towards a more advanced level of theory knowledge. It includes videos and practice exercises covering all of the topics on the list.

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  • Irregular time signatures
  • Tenor clef
  • Major keys and scales up to six sharps and flats
  • Minor keys and scales up to six sharps and flats
  • Transposition
  • Voices in score
  • Irregular time divisions
  • Intervals
  • Naming chords
  • Composing a melody
  • Ornaments
  • Chords at cadential points
  • Instruments and voices
  • Performance directions

Advanced Music Theory

Grades 6, 7 and 8. Developing an advanced literacy of music language, a key part of a rounded education for performers, composers and listeners of all kinds. It includes videos and working exercises covering all of the topics on the list.

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  • Harmonising melodies
  • Realising figured bass
  • Tonal melodic composition
  • Melodic composition in modern styles
  • Advanced harmonic vocabulary
  • Consonance, dissonance and part-writing
  • Trio sonatas
  • Keyboard passages
  • Writing for voices
  • Writing in four-parts
  • Primary triads, secondary triads and when to change chords
  • Extended chords
  • Chromatic chords
  • Chord symbols
  • Harmonic framework

Also Included

Along with all the teaching material you'll also get access to many additional resources.


The Circle of Fifths

Find out how to draw the Circle of Fifths and learn how to use the it to work out all the major keys, all the minor keys and all their key signatures.


Practice Exercises

Every grade has a complete set of sample questions for for you to test your knowledge after working through the teaching material.


Performance Directions

Documents are included for every grade which give you a full list of performance directions, musical terms, signs and all of their definitions.


Just terrific! I've gained more than I can say from your in-depth courses. The Theory 1-8 was beyond revelatory. I keep going back to it, and it's an excellent preparation for some of the other courses. So much insight. Thank you and best from America!

- Pablo

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Who Is This Course For?

Can you think of any other human endeavour where not knowing what you're doing is considered a positive? Understanding music theory is of great importance to all musicians. Music is a universal language and knowing how it all works is the key to improving. Our music theory courses cover all the essential elements of music from the ground up and are ideal for students preparing for examinations, as well as an excellent resource for anyone learning to read music and learn more challenging theory concepts and the fundamentals of good harmonic and melodic writing. It teaches you how to apply theoretical techniques in an accurate and creative way, providing you with a professional command of the requirements to achieve a high level of success and a true expert level of knowledge in the topic of music theory.

Professional Teaching

You'll receive expert tuition, making it easy to follow, digest and internalise all the important concepts of music theory.

Practice Exercises

The course contains a complete set of sample questions for you to test your knowledge after working through the teaching material.

Ask Questions

Below each video you are able to post comments and ask questions should you have any in regards to the course topics covered.              

Easy to Follow Structure

The course is divided into multiple stages, breaking down each part separately before putting in all together.

Complete at Your Own Pace

You can easily fit the course around your regular commitments, completing it at your own pace and in your own time.

Anywhere Access

Your course never expires. Learn when and where you choose! Computer or mobile. Just get comfortable and dive in!

Your Instructor

Gareth Green
Gareth Green

Hi, I’m Gareth and I'm passionate about developing ‘the all round musician’.

Nearly 35 years of music examining with ABRSM, work with the BBC on Radio and TV, experience on the international concert platform, as a published composer and arranger, have brought rich resources to the 40 years of teaching in which I've engaged.

Scholarships at The Royal College of Music, Oxford University and St. Paul’s Cathedral gave me fantastic opportunities to learn from the best musicians, scholars and teachers. Working as Director of Music at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School then provided a wonderful opportunity to develop my teaching skills.

Teaching individuals and groups of all ages, and at all stages of development have refined a teaching approach that I hope is fun and engaging, and focused on explaining things clearly and logically. And that is what these courses are all about - understanding the basic principles with clarity, then going deeper, applying them to your musical life and liberating yourself as a musician.

It’s a rich and amazing journey, and I can’t wait for you to join me today!

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm taking a music theory exam, is this course for me?
Absolutely! This course is suitable for candidates preparing for ABRSM music theory exams and covers everything you need to know for grades 1 to 8. It is also perfect for students studying at school, college or university, as well as anyone else who is interested in learning advanced music theory.
When does the course start and finish?
It is a completely self-paced online course! Watch and replay lessons as you wish - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all of the devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We stand behind the academic quality of our online courses and are committed to ensuring that you completely satisfied; that’s why we offer a 14 days money back guarantee. Simply send us an email explaining what you didn’t like about the course and why it wasn’t suitable for you and we’ll give you a full refund.
What payment methods do you accept?
Both credit and debit card payments are accepted. You can also pay with PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
I need help! Who can help me?
If you have a question related to this course, email [email protected]

A Letter from Gareth Green
MA (Oxon), MA (Leeds), FRCO(CHM), FLCM, ARCM

Many students of music want or need to pass music theory exams and this course is very focused on enabling you to achieve that.

At the same time, theory is about much more than passing exams. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get inside the mind of a composer? Think of a piece that you’re working on or listening to at the moment. What inspired the composer to write it? When did the composer live and what are the features of musical style at that time? Then what did the composer need to think about in order to compose the piece?

Theory explores the ingredients that bring music to life and, contrary to the idea held by some that theory kills creativity, it’s theory that enables musicians to make sense of their musical ideas.

If we go back in time music was in the world well before anyone dreamt up music theory. So do we really need theory? After all, we can all enjoy music without needing to understand the nuts and bolts. Some musicians have the ability to perform and improvise without completely understanding the theory behind what they are doing. I can manage a few words and phrases in Italian but because I understand more grammar and vocabulary in French I get on much more successfully in French than I do in Italian. Because I understand even more grammar and vocabulary in my native tongue I get on considerably better in English than I do in French. The more we understand of a language, the more fluent we become, and music is often described as a language.

The interesting thing is that music theory was taken very seriously as far back as the time of the Ancient Greeks, who were keen to explain how music worked and to establish why certain approaches were more successful than others. Ever since, theory has continuously evolved to keep pace with explaining musical development.

Having taught music for over 40 years, my experience is that the more students understand theory, the more they understand and appreciate the music they perform, and the more excited, creative and engaged they become.

Don’t learn theory for the sake of learning theory. Engage with music as a listener, a performer, and/ or as a composer then grasp the theory that will equip you to reach your full potential as a musician. That’s what makes music theory so exciting! Enjoy!

Gareth Green, Music Matters

Save money with this bundle!

This complete bundle set of our Grades 1 to 8 theory courses is offered to you with a massive overall saving of 30%.

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